Posted at: 04/01/2013 9:50 PM
Updated at: 04/02/2013 6:16 AM
By: Jay Kolls
Minneapolis spent $9 million less than expected in 2013 and now that money will be put to good use. The city will roll $7 million into an account that could be used to offset the 2.5 percent property tax increase in 2014.
City officials say they will divide the other $2 million with the Police and Fire Departments receiving a share of that amount.
Betsy Hodges, the City Council's Tax Committee Chair, says the $2 million will be used to fully fund the Crime Prevention Specialists Program and the Cadet Program in the Fire Department. Hodges says it will be nice to have the $7 million in the bank when the city debates its property tax levy this summer and fall for 2014.
The head of the Minneapolis Firefighters' Union says funding the cadet program is a good start, but Mark Lakosky says the city needs to hire more than just 11 new firefighters. Lakosky says the department needs to hire at least 20 to 30 new firefighters just to bring staffing numbers back to a reasonable, instead of minimum, level.